Today’s I review the outrageous Crème de la Mer. It retails for $335 and €289. It supposedly contains a miracle broth that regenerates the skin. Let’s see if the ingredients support the claim.
I tell you right away I did not rob anyone to try this cream. I simply ask a good friend of mine to borrow it for 3 days and put it to the test.
I am going to break down the formula into 6 categories: emollients, humectants, antioxidants, essential oils, perfumes, and preservatives. Emollients are a class of molecule that lock in the water. I don’t differentiate occlusives from emollients for simplicity. I talk about them in details in my video.
This cream contains a lot of emollients and occlusives.
Mineral oil, vaseline (petrolatum), isohexadecane, lanolin alcohol, Sesamum Indicum Seed Oil (rich in vitamin E and linoleic acid), Medicago Sativa Seed Powder, Helianthus Annuus Seed Cake, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Seed Meal.
Mineral oil and vaseline are the best occlusives that we currently know. There are also the cheapest. You find them in the famous Nivea cream that cost a fraction of the price of the La Mer… It contains lanolin alcohol that is excellent but can trigger breakouts. There are some interesting seed powders in it. There are not common but are likely rich in lipids.
Algae extract, glycerin, magnesium, sodium, potassium, copper, calcium, magnesium, zinc.
Some of the humectants are interesting and not commonly find like minerals. The first ingredient is an algae extract. I am not too crazy about it because it could be a lot of different algae extracts. I like to know what I put on my face. In general, algae contain complex sugar (exopolysaccharides) that acts as humectants.
Vitamin E, niacinamide.
This cream contains almost no antioxidants, which is not an issue. There is niacinamide but at the end of the formula, so it is likely not relevant.
Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia Extract, limonene, geraniol, linalool, hydrocitronellal, citronellol.
Limonene, geraniol, linalool, hydrocitronellal, and citronellol are components of essentials oils. There are a lot of essentials oils that are skin irritants and can trigger dermatitis.
benzyl salicylate and citral cannot be included in the « perfume » section because there are known skin sensitizers. They have to be listed in the formula.
Methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone. Both are used since the ’70s and are well-known irritants for the skin and are far better in rinse-off products. Apparently, there are no longer in the formula.
The texture is thick and doesn’t glide onto the skin. It reminds me of the Nivea cream. I don’t find it pleasant nor elegant.
The emollients and the humectants are interesting but don’t justify the price. My biggest problem with this cream is the number of skin irritants: lots of essentials oils, derivatives of fragrant oils, bad perfuming agents and bad preservatives. This is scary.
I am concerned about the effect that this cream has after the use of acids and retinoids that thin out the skin barrier. Even if your skin looks « fine » there is always the possibility that low-level inflammation is happening. Not to mention the poor texture. This is typically a product that I don’t recommend.
To know more details about this formula you can watch my video.
Thank you for your time